NEW PORT RICHEY
Preserve will close early for wild hog hunts
The Southwest Florida Water Management District's Starkey Wilderness Preserve will close early to the public for wild hog hunts at night Jan. 8 through 10. Only permitted hunters will be allowed on the preserve during these hunts. All of the permits for these hunts have been sold. This activity is one of a series of wild hog hunts being held on district lands in an effort to control the damage being caused to the natural habitats. The district only allows hogs to be controlled through hunts when the damage they cause exceeds unacceptable levels, and damage is occurring more frequently and with increasing severity. Wild hogs live throughout Florida in various habitats, but prefer moist forests and swamps, as well as pine flatwoods. They are omnivorous and feed by rooting with their broad snouts, which can cause extensive damage to the natural habitats. Wild hogs are not native to Florida and are believed to have been introduced by explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. They can weigh more than 300 pounds and travel in herds of several females and their offspring. For more information, call the land management section at the district's Brooksville headquarters at 1-800-423-1476 or (352) 796-7211, ext. 4467.
Couples can marry in group ceremony
Pasco County Clerk of Court Paula O'Neil once again will get to play cupid. On Feb. 14, couples can exchange vows on the steps of the Pasco County Historic Courthouse in Dade City in a group ceremony performed by O'Neil. Each couple may register for the Valentine's Day Ceremony by applying for their marriage license by Feb. 11. For more information, contact the Clerk & Comptroller's Office in either New Port Richey (727) 847-8086 or Dade City (352) 521-4408 or visit www.pascoclerk.com.
Hospice helps with pet bereavement
HPH Hospice will host a pet loss workshop from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 23 at Humana, 7920 Gall Blvd., Zephyrhills. The workshop for adults will be conducted by experienced HPH bereavement counselors, with special guest Carolyn Hodges of Zephyrhills, who will share her personal experience with pet bereavement. Refreshments will be provided. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is requested by Jan. 21. Call Jane to pre-register, (800) 486-8784.
AARP rolls out driver safety class
AARP will offer a safety class for drivers ages 50 and older. The cost will be $12 for AARP members and $14 for nonmembers. Most insurance companies offer discounts upon completion. The class will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 24, at Land O' Lakes Library, 2818 Collier Parkway, Land O'Lakes. Space is limited. Registration is required. For more information or to register, call Lloyd Shaw, (813) 395-8376.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Farmers Market begins Friday
Greater New Port Richey Main Street presents Fresh Friday Farmers Markets beginning Jan. 4, and running from 5 to 9 p.m. on each Friday through April 26. The event will feature the First Friday Art Exhibit and Open House at the PEAG Art Gallery on Grand Boulevard. Call (727) 842-8066 or visit www.nprmainstreet.com.